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    Current Notes on Art Sales Essay

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    The sale of the art collection of the Baronne de Gargon recently took place in the Galerie Georges Petit and resulted in a total of 230,990f ($46,198). A picture by De Neuville, entitled “La Passerelle de Styring Vendel,” a stirring scene from the Franco-Prussian War, reached the high figure of 35,000f ($7,000). “Le Sault aux Blesses,” by M. Edouard Detaille, was bought by M. Foinard at the very low price of 5,10of ($1,020). The biggest price of the day was 95,ooof ($19,000), with which M. Georges Noenschell obtained a series of five Beauvais tapestries of the Louis XIV epoch, and tapestries not in the best condition at that. Flemish tapestry of the sixteenth century, representing David’s triumph, went to M. Bernheim for 19,500f ($3,900). At the sale of Princess Mathilde’s art collection, the Comte de Camondo paid an extraordinary price of $22,000 for the portrait of an unknown nobleman by an unknown painter of the French school of the eighteenth century.

    The painting is a masterpiece and is said to have been bought years ago by the princess for only $25. Two paintings by Liepolo, representing the carnival at Venice, were purchased for 68,000 by M. Leroux de Villiers. Another painting, St. Mark’s Square in Venice,” by Guardi, was purchased for 41,000 by François Flameng. The second picture, “The Grand Canal at Venice,” by the same painter, brought 25,000 from the Baron Henry de Rothschild. A portrait by Jean Verspronck brought 31,000. A tiny portrait of a man of the German school of the sixteenth century brought 20,000. A portrait by Van Dyck, “The Wife of Snyders,” brought 15,000.

    A picture sale took place at Christie’s rooms, which was productive of some instructive prices. They should be of special interest to Americans, as it is usually towards the American market that corresponding pictures, or at any rate pictures of this kind, ultimately travel. These particular pictures came from the collection of the late Right Hon. Charles Seale Hayne, who was a member of Parliament, a personal friend of Mr. Gladstone, and paymaster-general in his administration. Raphael, Titian, Velasquez, Veronese, Correggio, and Da Vinci were some of the grand old names that brought together a crowd of English and foreign dealers. The Da Vinci brought X6 1,071. True, this would be no price for a genuine Leonardo da Vinci, but it was a good enough sum for a Bernardino Luini. By Cardinal Fesch and by Davenport Bromley, who purchased this work from the Cardinal, it was considered a Luini. It was Waagen, the author of “Art Treasures in Great Britain,” who first thought it a Da Vinci, and later owners have gladly agreed with him. Had the large company assembled at Christie’s been of the same opinion, this “Virgin and Child” would doubtless have brought ?10,000 or more. The last time it appeared at public auction, the price was f420.

    This was at the E. H. Lawrence sale in 1892. Raphael’s “Virgin and Child,” brought from Italy by Mr. Sainford, sold to Mr. Wright of Upton, and bought by J. P. Anderton, realized the sum of £1,152 5s in the sale of Anderton’s collection in 1857. Now it has dropped to £78 15s. The Titian, a large full-length portrait of Philip II of Spain from the collection of Louis Philippe, brought £173 5s. A Veronese of almost the same size, “The Death of Procris,” was on the point of being sold for £30 but suddenly spurted up to £1,315. It was painted for the Emperor Rudolph, presented by him to the King of Spain, and brought from Madrid by Joseph Bonaparte. The Correggio, a “Reprobate Tormented,” went for £52 10s, a third of its last auction price, and the Velasquez, a “Ganymede,” struggled up to £21. Among the Dutch pictures, everybody was surprised to see a fruit and still-life subject by De Heem run up to £1,630. It was bought by a German dealer. On the other hand, a large Snyders, “Dogs Quarreling Over Meat,” which brought £105 in the Earl of Clancarty’s sale a dozen years ago, was now knocked down at £62 2s. A set of Hogarths, numbering six and representing the “Harlot’s Progress,” is also worthy of note.

    The catalogue stated that “this is the first series of these subjects that Hogarth painted, and they are probably his earliest works. They were bought by Alderman Beckford and given by him to a near relation on his purchasing at Hogarth’s sale the second set, five of which were unfortunately destroyed by fire at Fonthill. This series brought only ?33 I2S. At Christie’s recently, a sum of more than ?125,000 ($625,000) was realized at a picture sale. A “Portrait of a Lady” by J. M. Nattier, signed and dated 1745, brought the best price. Messrs. Colnaghi were the purchasers at 3,100 guineas ($16,275). For a young lady seated reading a letter by G. Lerburg, Messrs. Agnew paid 1,300 guineas ($6,825). The portrait of Lady Comte by J. Hoppner, R.A., was bought by Mr. Wertheimer for 520 guineas ($2,730). The portrait of Master Hay, afterward Captain Hay, by Sir H. Raeburn, R.A., went to Mr. Lawrie for 700 guineas ($3,175). “The Head of a Girl,” an oval by Watteau, brought 500 guineas ($2,625), the purchaser being M. Coureau.

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